My early work was very much influenced by the energetic and emotional qualities found in Louise Fishman’s and Joan Mitchell’s paintings. I wanted my work to draw the viewer into the depths of the painting; however the sudden deaths of my grandfather and father within months of each other had an extremely profound effect on me and my artwork. I was no longer able to invite the viewer beyond the surface of my work, because I was too afraid to delve deeper into my own emotions. While pursuing my MFA at Rochester Institute of Technology, I was able to refine and simplify my work through influences from Process Art, Minimalism, and Abstract Expressionism. A final body of work developed, which employed the use of multiple canvases in each piece with a monochromatic color palette and undulating lines that wound across and over their edges, suggesting connectedness between parts. The final body of work became therapeutic and representative of artifacts and maps, which allowed me to examine both my past and places where I had been while also suggesting pathways into the future. For me, the practice of making art became a form of meditation, a way for me to free myself from disruptive thoughts, hesitation, and emotion. It allowed me to tap into my intuition, and let the composition of the work develop without premeditation. By focusing on the meditative qualities of producing a final body of work, I was able to become a more complete and healthy version of myself.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Painting, Abstract; Abstract expressionism; Process art

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Fine Arts Studio (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Art (CIAS)


Thomas R. Lightfoot

Advisor/Committee Member

Zerbe Sodervick

Advisor/Committee Member

Glen Hintz


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at ND196.A2 M49 2015


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes